Cup favourites Windsor Condors negotiated a potential banana-skin in Round Three of the Handicap Knock-Out Cup of the Clacton & District League by eliminating Division Two high-fliers Brotherhood H.

The Condors took the tie 5-2 with Mel Rampton and Ollie Rampton staying unbeaten in both singles and doubles. Mel Rampton (-6) clinched the victory in match seven with a 3-2 (12-10, 11-8, 1-11, 2-11, 11-8) success over the gritty Frank Burbidge (+2). For Brotherhood, Burbidge (+2) had a close 11-9 in the fifth win over Colin Stallwood (-8), whilst Woody Fitzpatrick (+3) beat the same player (on -8) 11-0, 11-7, 11-7.

Three other teams from the top-flight earned their places in the quarter-finals. In an all-Division One clash, Nomads Lions led Lawford 3-0 before being pegged back to 3-all. But the Lions took the next two matches to win 5-3, Adam Cuthbert, Ethan Lloyd and Jason Lloyd combining well as a team, each involved in two wins in either singles or doubles. The closest match was Ethan Lloyd’s (-5) 6-11, 11-13, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 victory over James Tindle (+1).

It was also 5-3 for Nomads Tigers against Second Division Walton E. The Tigers took the opening doubles, John Marshall and Daryl Lott (-3) beating Mark Gale and Jane Young (+1) 13-11 in the fifth. But Walton bounced back with Gary Stallwood (0) defeating Pawel Szemro (0) 11-6 in the decider and Gale (-1) scraping past Lott (+1) 14-12 in the fifth to give their side a 2-1 lead. Alas for Walton, the Tigers took four of the next five matches to take the tie.

Windsor Eagles are the fourth of the Division One winners, Gary Cattermole, Phil Smith and Sue Welham over-coming the largest handicap differences of the Round against Division Three Nomads Leopards and coming out on top 5-0.

The only top-flight team to lose was Brotherhood D who went down by an unusual 3-2 score-line to Second Division Brotherhood F in a match in which both teams had only two fit players and neither could call on reserves from lower-Division teams. Barry Allen and Lee Allen won their opening two singles for the ‘F’ team, Scott Campbell and Russell Hillier responded with the next two singles for the ‘D’ side which left the tie hinging on the doubles, Allen and Allen (+1) edging through 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5) against the ‘D’ team pair (on -1).

Division Two leaders Brotherhood I enjoyed a 5-2 success over fellow-Second Division side Nomads Bobcats. John Owen won two singles, whilst Paul Alden and Fred Gallone each won one singles and a doubles.

Another all-Division Two clash saw Brotherhood G unexpectedly beat Windsor Buzzards, also 5-2. Paul Metcalf was the Brotherhood lynchpin, staying unbeaten on the night. His team-mate, Mark Beckham, was involved in the two matches which went the distance, (on -1) losing 11-4 in the decider to Alan Rutledge (+1), but (on +1) beating Pete Bloomfield (-1) 11-7 in the decider.

One Third Division team was guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals and Brotherhood E ensured they were that team by defeating Nomads Lynx 5-3, this after the teams were level at 3-all. Tony Edmonds continued his rich vein of form by staying unbeaten for the winners.

It means there will four teams from the Brotherhood Club in the last eight, and two each from Windsor and Nomads.

* This week also saw Round Two of the Division Three Handicap Challenge but three of the matches were blighted by teams turning out just two players, with only the Nomads Leopards v Nomads Ocelots fixture being competed by full teams.

The Leopards won the match 5-1 but the scoreline disguises a closer encounter in which three of the six matches went to a decider. For the Leopards, Bob Jillins (-1) beat Arthur Wells-Garrett (+1) 3-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-7, 11-7 whilst Dave Wright (-5) defeated Sue Lee (+1) 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 3-11, 11-3. The Leopards’ point came from a Wells-Garrett /Lee (+1) doubles win, 11-3, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, against Jillins and Stuart Wilkinson (-3).

A two-player Walton E took the first two matches of the evening against Brotherhood E, Tony Sharman (+1) edging past Rodney Betts (-1) 11-8 in the decider in the second of these. But that was the extent of Walton’s success, Brotherhood E winning 5-2.

Brotherhood J’s Harley Wood (0) beat Jackie Bunce (0) 10-12, 14-12, 12-14, 11-3, 11-5 in her side’s opening match with Windsor Penguins but the Penguins took the next to confirm a 5-1 victory over the ‘J’ team’s two players.

And it was even more comfortable for Nomads Pumas who were untroubled by a depleted Windsor Robins, winning 5-0.

* The draws for both Round Four of the Handicap Cup and the semi-finals of the Division Three Challenge will be made within the next week. Details will be circulated by 16th February. These matches are to be played during week commencing 11th March.

* The Windsor Club’s Pig Race evening takes place this coming Saturday (16th February) at St Osyth Village Hall. For more details, contact Jenny Higgins (Tel: 01255 432397) or Viv Rodriguez (Tel: 01255 830951).

* Table Tennis England has just announced the players who will be competing in next month’s PG Mutual National Championships in Nottingham. Included in the Women’s Singles line-up is Clacton’s reigning Ladies champion, 17-year old Gracie Edwards. Well done, Gracie and good luck.

Handicap Cup Round 3
Nomads Lions 5 Lawford 3
Brotherhood I 5 Nomads Bobcats 2
Brotherhood H 2 Windsor Condors 5
Walton E 3 Nomads Tigers 5;
Windsor Buzzards 2 Brotherhood G 5
Nomads Lynx 3 Brotherhood E 5
Nomads Leopards 0 Windsor Eagles 5
Brotherhood 3 Brotherhood D 2

Division Three Handicap Challenge Round 2
Brotherhood J 1 Windsor Penguins 5
Nomads Pumas 5 Windsor Robins 0
Walton D 2 Brotherhood E 5
Nomads Ocelots 1 Nomads Leopards 5